Horror In The 90's: 'The Guardian'
Directed by: William Friedkin (The Exorcist, Jade, Bug)
Starring: Jenny Seagrove as the super attractive and oddly pushy nanny who spends her off nights getting naked and rubbing herself on a big tree like she's Sigourney Weaver in 'Ghostbusters' post Zuul possession. Dwier Brown as the handsome father of a newborn baby he would rather not be sacrificed to a fucking ficus and Carey Lowell as former Bond girl and mother with the spine of a jellyfish. You can literally just walk up and her baby as she softly whispers"Stahp".
Plot: A young and promising couple are in search of a nanny for their newborn baby boy. After their first choice mysteriously trips while running and falls down a mountainside ultimately dying on top of the giant plant from 'Little Shop of Horrors', they choose Camilla. Who, of course is a magical nymph looking for a baby to feed to her favorite tree in the woods she likes to get naked with while her pack of evil wolves circle her. The 90's right? This is the kind of shit I tell my kids used to happen before the internet gave us something to do. Camilla wants their baby to be her latest sacrifice to the big tree that she likes to watch kill people 'Evil Dead' style. The parents probably don't want this to happen. Herein lies our conflict.
Best Moment of the Film: The "floating scene" is honestly one of the most unsettling things I've seen in a horror movie in some time. It's quick but haunting. You don't just randomly start flying like that, Karen!
Worst Part of the Film: The overpowerment of evil forest wolves. Sure, these are super evil wolves but how are they chewing through the middle of a locked door like Jack Torrance with an axe or using their paws to break car windshields?
Overall Thoughts: There were moments in 'The Guardian' where I was surprisingly scared or thrown off deep down in my safety center and that doesn't come easily.
All of the actors were excellent. Even if their characters were written with the logic of a doorknob at times. Seriously, the decision making skills will have you with arms wide open, looking like that "Why the fuck?!" Captain Picard meme. Specifically, a scene in which the parents inexplicably leave the safety of a hospital full of people to fend for themselves in an empty, dark home where no-one can hear their screams.
There's more death scenes than you'd expect with such an esoteric plot, even bringing in some extra bad guys at one point just so they can become plant food in an awesome face smashing, 'Evil Dead' commemorative. This scene and a few others, including one where a wolf's head is squished by a car tire, are extremely well done and dare I say believable for such outlandish scenarios.
All that being said, Friedkin manages to capture in spots the same sporadic fear and anxiety he spit with 'The Exorcist' and ten percent of 'The Exorcist' is worth more than most films ever even bring to the table. 7.5/10
Casting shout outs:
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop, Hot Shots! Part Deux) plays a small role as Ralph Hess
Xander Berkeley (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Candyman) plays a jaded detective who isn't buying your shit at the end of the film.
Where you can watch: You can rent 'The Guardian' on any of the standard streaming services for about $3.99 but it isn't currently available to stream on any of the free apps. Just be careful not to fuck up and accidentally rent the Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher Coast Guard film instead. Very different experience. Or you can buy the film on anything from VHS to Blu ray here.
Coolest Merch I Could Find on the Internet:
One of those old school inserts from the movie theater. Would make a pretty sick piece of wall art if you have a lighting setup! Can't beat $13.00 after shipping either. There's not much cool consumer grabs out there for 'The Guardian'. A few posters, some cool VHS tapes, a $40.00 t-shirt and an old school 'Fangoria' covering the film but it isn't even on the cover.
Thanks for reading! Stay safe out there! Wash your hands! Wash your butts!